An abscessed tooth is an infection within a tooth that has spread to the root tip or around the root. This infection originates from the tooth’s inner chamber, which is called the “pulp chamber.” Contained within the pulp chamber are blood vessels and nerves, collectively called the “pulp.”
Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include:
- Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
- Sensitivity to the pressure of chewing or biting.
- Swelling in your face or cheek.
- Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck.
A dental abscess is most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.
Dental Abscess Treatments
Dentists will treat a tooth abscess by draining it and getting rid of the infection. They may be able to save your tooth with a root canal treatment, but in some cases the tooth may need to be pulled. Antibiotics are commonly used to eliminate the infection and reduce the inflammation.
While it may seem extreme, the pus contained within an abscess is extremely dangerous. It is a virtual poison to your body and, should the infection spread, it can even threaten your life, causing damage to vital organs. If left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to sepsis, a deadly whole-body infection. For patients with a weakened immune system, such as those with diabetes, your risk of the infection spreading becomes even more pronounced.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.